Women of all backgrounds and ethnic groups are eligible for the study if they are between the ages of 35 and 74; live in the United States; have never had breast cancer themselves; and have a sister living or deceased who has had breast cancer. To recruit a diverse group of volunteers and to ensure the results benefit all women, researchers are especially encouraging African-American, Latina, Native American, and Asian women, as well as women 60 and older, to join the Sister Study.
Sisters may be the key to unlocking breast cancer risk mysteries. Dale Sandler, Ph.D., Chief of the Epidemiology Branch at NIEHS and principal investigator of the Sister Study said, 'By studying sisters, who share the same genes, often had similar experiences and environments, and are at twice the risk of developing breast cancer, we have a better chance of learning what causes this disease. That is why joining the Sister Study is so important.'
At the beginning, volunteers will complete several questionnaires and provide a sample of their blood, urine, toenails, and household dust. 'With that, we'll be able to look at how genes, activities of daily life, and exposure to different things in our environment are related to breast cancer risk,' Dr. Sandler explained.
'We've made the process as easy and as convenient as possible, so we will come to you,' she added.
The landmark study will stay in touch with the volunteers for 10 years and compare those who develop breast cancer with t
Contact: John Schelp
NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences